Be Near Me tells of a Catholic priest, Father David Anderton, who takes over a small Ayrshire parish. Bored and culturally isolated, he soon runs into trouble with the local populace after a romantic encounter with Mark, a local teenager with special needs and a drug habit.
McDiarmid himself plays David Anderton, supported by a cast including Richard Madden (Mark), Blythe Duff, Helen Mallon and Colette O'Neil. It's directed by National Theatre of Scotland associate John Tiffany and produced by the NTS in association with the Donmar.
Warm but not euphoric would best summarise the critical reaction of both those who attended last week's Kilmarnock premiere and those at the Donmar last night. Primary reservations were with McDiarmid’s adaptation, which several observed failed to fully capture the spirit of O'Hagan's novel. However, overall sentiments were positive, particularly for McDiarmid’s “stunningly subtle” turn in the central role, “superbly drawn” performances from the majority of the supporting cast and the “beautifully fluid” direction of John Tiffany.
by Theo Bosanquet